Sibusiso touched the inspired a nation & hearts of millions when became the first black African to successfully summit the earth’s largest and most fearsome mountain, Everest, the Queen of the Himalayas on 26 May 2003.
After starting his climbing adventures in 1996 by summiting peaks in the Drakensberg, Sibusio summited Kilimanjaro in 1999 and went on to the Himalayas in 2002, successfully climbing Pokalde, Lobujé and Island Peak, all of which are over 6 000 metres high, as part of his training for his Everest expedition.
In 2005 Sibusiso reached the summit of Everest again with Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Alex Harris after accessing the peak from the North Ridge – the more difficult and statistically less-successful side. This achievement meant that he is the first black African to climb the world’s highest peak twice and by two different routes.
On that day, South African President Thabo Mbeki congratulated him on his achievement and grit. “In this, he has shown the heights we can all scale in life if we put our shoulder to the wheel and work at things without flagging. Sibusiso, you have done us proud!”
Sibusiso is also one of a handful of South Africans, and the first black African, to achieve the feat of climbing each of the Seven Summits – the seven highest peaks on each of the seven continents:
1. Kilimanjaro (Africa) 1999
2. Everest (Asia) 2003 and 2005
3. Aconcagua (South America) 2006
4. Elbrus (Europe) 2006
5. Carstensz Pyramid (Oceania) 2006
6. Vinson (Antarctica) 2006
7. Denali/McKinley (North America) 2008
The, on 17 January 2008, Sibusiso and his Team Extreme partner, Alex Harris, became the first South Africans to walk to the South Pole completely unassisted. In early 2012 Sibusiso trekked to the North Pole, completing the three poles ‘challenge’ – the North Pole, South Pole and Everest.
Sibusiso is married to Nomsa and is the proud father of four. He supports the educational needs of three young girls in honour of those who contributed to his own education when his parents couldn’t afford it while he was also patron of the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s Conservation Leadership Group, a demonstration of his affinity for wildlife conservation.
(adaption from www.sibusisovilane.co.za)